By Todd Anderson on Aug 2, 2018 at 3:28 PM
  1. Todd Anderson

    Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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    Meet Sony’s MASTER Series of TVs and Its New A9F Flagship OLED TV

    [​IMG]
    (Sony) The all-new flagship A9F OLED television

    (August 2, 2018) Step aside A1E, there’s a new sheriff in town!

    Sony, at a major PR event recently held in New York City, has officially unveiled two new televisions that reign atop its newly minted MASTER Series of TVs. The MASTER Series, according to Sony, is designated for televisions with technologies that deliver a true studio-monitor experience to the home, allowing a creator’s visual intent to be viewed by enthusiasts just as it was seen in the production room.

    At the core of the all-new A9F OLED, Sony’s new flagship TV, and the Z9F LCD is Sony’s top shelf Picture Processor X1 Ultimate, which debuted as a prototype at CES 2018. This particular processor is billed as being twice as powerful as the X1 Extreme found in last year’s flagship A1E OLED model, a television that many argued took better advantage of LG Display’s best OLED panel (yes, even better than LG Electronics’s top OLED model). The Picture Processor X1 Ultimate is designed to detect and analyze each object contained in an image, delivering better visible depth and texture accuracy for an incredibly realistic picture.

    Both televisions also offer users a “Netflix Calibrated” viewing mode, developed in cooperation with Netflix to “faithfully reproduce visuals that help bring a story to life.” Additionally, MASTER Series TVs ship CalMAN ready, which streamlines the professional calibration process for the ultimate in studio-correct picture accuracy in just about any environment.

    The A9F OLED follows suit with the A1E by creating sound using the television’s screen. Its all-new Acoustic Surface Audio+ technology (version two of last year’s Acoustic Surface Audio) adds an additional center channel actuator in the middle of the display, along with an extra subwoofer channel, delivering a native 3.2-channel sound experience. And for those home systems that utilize external left and right channels, the entire television’s speaker array can be used to create a true center-channel speaker.

    Sony says the LCD-based Z9F offers viewers improved off-axis viewing performance, further eliminating detrimental color shifts and drops in black levels for viewers sitting off center. It features full-array LED backlighting, in addition to new image processing called “X-Motion Clarity” for fast moving image smoothing and X-tended Dynamic Range PRO for further improved contrast.

    Adding to user-friendliness, the Z9F (much like the A9F) carries a built-in microphone for use with Google Assistant and simple voice activated commands.

    According to Mike Fasulo, president and chief operating officer, Sony Electronics North America: "Sony's focus has always been on quality, and our new MASTER Series is a game changer. Netflix is redefining the way in which content is produced, and together we have created an offering that has never been done before. Our new line of TVs featuring Netflix Calibrated Mode truly optimize the entertainment experience and provide new viewing options for our customers."

    The MASTER Series A9F OLED (55” and 65”) and Z9F LCD (65” and 75”) will be available across North America in the fall of 2018. Pricing has yet to be announced, but will likely cost a premium.
     

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Discussion in 'AV Industry News' started by Todd Anderson, Aug 2, 2018.

    1. tripplej

      tripplej AV Enthusiast

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      Nice. Would like to see a detailed review on this. :)
       
    2. JimShaw

      JimShaw Active Member
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      I would love to see Robert (Value Electronics) get both sets in the Flat Panel Shoot Out this year
       
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    3. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      Hmmm. I like the sounds of that, Jim. @Robert Zohn, might you have anything to say about this? ;-)
       
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    4. Robert Zohn

      Robert Zohn Active Member
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      I say... YES, in fact, we delayed our 2018 TV Shootout to include Sony's Z9F and A9F!
       
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    5. JimShaw

      JimShaw Active Member
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      Really looking forward to this year's Shootout.

      I'm hoping that there isn't a great difference in PQ between the Z9D and the Z9F or I might have to spend more $$$$$.

      .
       
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    6. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      I like it, Robert! Like it a lot!
       
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    7. Robert Zohn

      Robert Zohn Active Member
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      Thanks Todd and Jim, me too!!
       
    8. Robert Zohn

      Robert Zohn Active Member
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      Check out my video of the introduction of Sony's Z9F and A9f at Sony's Press Conference.

       
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    9. Robert Zohn

      Robert Zohn Active Member
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      Here's part 2 that starts with the Z9F and then goes into more information on both new series, the A9F OLED and Z9F LCD/LED, like the new AutoCal Netflix calibrated mode and more.

       
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    10. Robert Zohn

      Robert Zohn Active Member
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      I've been posting select videos from Sony's Press Conference on my new Youtube Channel and this is the last one I'll bring to everyone's attention. So if you want to see more check out the channel as I'll post new videos every day or two.
      Here's a very interesting presentation from Mr. Bill Baggelaar, Sony Pictures, SVP of Technologies for Pre and Post Production Technologies tells the story of the Sony's quest "Lens to Living room" creation of the new Master Series A9F OLED and Z9F LCD/LED TVs.

       
      #11 Robert Zohn, Aug 11, 2018
      Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
    11. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      Great vids Robert! Thanks for sharing those.
       
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    12. mechman

      mechman Senior Admin
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      Hopefully it will be finished product by Spectracal this time around rather than the Beta that we're still working with for the LGs. I know that I will not use it at all until it has been verified to actually work properly.
       
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    13. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      Great point Steve. They're getting closer, that's for sure.

      What we really need is an auto calibration program that consumers can use with a Spyder. I'm actually going to give that a whirl with my RS520... will independently verify results for Rec 709 (at least) with my own gear. But, what we really need is something akin to the microphone kit that ships with receivers (of course buyers would have to pay for a meter as an additional cost)...

      You get your tv, you affix the meter to the front of the screen, and you let the TV auto calibrate for light and dark environments. I'm sure retailers that bundle calibration with TV sales would hate this (although some have high-end clientele that are willing to pay regardless), but consumers would benefit greatly.

      One of the biggest problems the industry is grappling with is delivering technology that's intuitive and friendly to the 99.9% of the buying population that isn't tech oriented... true - simple - auto cal would be a step in the right direction!
       
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    14. Robert Zohn

      Robert Zohn Active Member
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      SpectraCal has signed on as the exclusive Auto Calibration vendor for LG, Samsung and now Sony. Each Auto Calibration software and interface was specifically designed for each of the three premium TV manufacturers and they all work differently.

      LG's CalMAN program is the only AutoCal program that writes directly to TV's LUT chip, whereas Samsung and Sony's versions have the more traditional interface that writes to the CalMAN program first.

      Sony's implication is also unique and a welcome change from the standard CalMAN program. SpectraCal and Sony developed the AutoCal system to work a Sony AutoCal App. The advantage is that all of your work and screens are exclusively displayed on the PC that you are using with Sony's new AutoCal app. The advantages are that the calibrator only works all of the controls and screens o the same screen, vs. having to adjust and run the AutoCal program from the PC screen and then look over to the TV to see the changes and make further tweaks and adjustments and move through the work flow continually looking up and down as you go through the calibration process.

      Regarding Todd's suggestion for a DIY kit here's my take. I love this idea and as I've said before with Todd and me.... "Great minds think alike". The problem is to achieve a professional quality calibration takes four elements that require, skill, time and a decent budget for the equipment and software.

      Here's what needed :
      • A decent meter that is sensitive and selective to read very low luminance levels. Meters that have this precision and sensitivity are costly, stand by for my follow-up post with the best price/performance recommendations.
      • A test patter signal generator. I'll post the best choice for this hardware shortly, so check back.
      • SpectraCal CalMAN enthusiasts software.
      • A good basic knowledge of color, contrast, the PQ curve and computer skills and the TV menu settings and how they operate and effect the image.
      With all this said if the meter is not profiled to your specific TV you will be calibrating without an important needed starting point. Every TV display has unique spectral characteristics so measuring your display with a spectrophotometer can then calibrate the meter to be accurate to your TV.

      Regarding Steve's point, I to wish LG's AutoCal program worked perfectly at launch, but please know these are new and very technologically advanced software programs. With all of the internal development and testing it's just not possible to get every element working perfectly. In defense of SpectraCal they have listened to my top professional calibrator and sever other top calibrators to fix and enhance the software to the point where it very quickly became an excellent high-performance product. Today we can calibrate LG's 2018 TV at 3,000 points of luminance, a level of precise calibration that has never been possible before LG's/CalMAN's AutoCal.

      Sorry for the long rant, hope this makes sense and helps explain some of the behind the scenes information.
       
      #15 Robert Zohn, Aug 12, 2018
      Last edited by a moderator: Aug 12, 2018
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    15. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      Truth is: we were separated at birth. ;-)

      Interesting details on the various SpectraCal implementations, for sure.That App feature with Sony is wicked cool!

      I hear you on the DIY kit and the profiling would require additional gear... I guess I was considering a more less than optimal (but better than nothing) kit that would get users closer to the ballpark settings offered by a THX/Cinema mode. Perfection? No. But you'd have to imagine that it might give some folks a better chance of getting things closer than they have now. Of course, it would have to be dummy proof and part of the initial setup procedure.

      If it were all automated within the TV itself (perhaps calculations are made in the cloud?), maybe it could be a cheaper option offered by realtors, where the customer is given a kit to take home and return for a nominal rental fee?
       
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    16. Robert Zohn

      Robert Zohn Active Member
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      All true re: everything you said, except for one item, I'm still waiting for my 23 and me results.

      Not sure about the rental idea, but it's a good thought.
       
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    17. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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    18. mechman

      mechman Senior Admin
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      From what I have read it sounds like Sony did the auto-calibration feature correctly.

      Robert - has John had a chance to play around with this yet? Do you have a demo unit?
       

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